Back on the bike after two days of rest, today’s 57km brought me very close the Scottish’s border after a total of 1121km since Lane’s End.
In fact I reached Hadrian’s Wall and as any proud Scot will tell you, the Romans never made it there. Here are some interesting facts about the place.
Although there were settlements over the border, and even a few successful spats with Pictish tribes, Scotland never became part of the Roman Empire.
What did worry the Roman outposts in the north of the country, however, was the real possibility that those tribes might successfully take territory back, and repel their armies. Defeat to a Roman general was unthinkable, and construction on Hadrian’s Wall began in 122AD, so that the Roman armies based at the far north edge of the territory could control who came in and out of Empire territory.
Every Roman mile (not quite as far as a modern mile), there was a milecastle – a fortified manned post for extra security. With a wall that was fifteen feet high and ten feet thick, getting through was difficult. Unsurprisingly, it was so well built that much of it still stands today.